ADVERTISING
 
Monday, June 25   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Migration
Do Christians in your country have a Bible-based understanding of how migrants should be treated?




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Antonio Cruz
 

The carob tree

In ancient times carob pods were used to feed horses, donkeys and pigs, though they could also be used as a source of food for humans.

ZOE AUTHOR Antonio Cruz TRANSLATOR Roger Marshall 07 JANUARY 2018 11:00 h GMT+1
Carob tree.

      After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.



 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.



 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.



Luke. 15:14-16)



  



The carob tree, which usually does not exceed 10 metres in height, has a short thick trunk and long branches, some of which bend right down till they touch the ground due to the weight they carry. Its leaves are perennial and are made up of several pairs (three to five) of small, smooth-edged, stiff, shiny, non-pilous, oval-shaped, leathery leaflets). The flowers typically form little clusters on the older wood, rather than on the youngest most tender branches, as occurs with most trees. There are female trees which produce only female flowers and the carob bean-pods, and male trees which bear no fruit, as all its flowers are male. In Spain, the latter variety are popularly known as Jewish Carobs (anti-semite prejudices?). Finally, there are also carob trees that produce flowers of both sexes, with a stamen and pistil. For this reason, the carob is often said to be polygamous, as it has these three different types of flowers.



The carob belongs to the leguminous plant-family, originating in the East, but liberally distributed all around the Mediterranean basin. It is abundant in Syria, Israel and Egypt, as it thrives in the poor chalky soil of these coastal areas. The fruit of the carob tree, carob beans, come in long, flat, hard pods measuring between 10 and 25 centimetres long and about 3 centimetres wide. Thy have a reddish colour and a pleasantly sweet taste. The generic term Ceratonia comes from the Greek word ceras, which means “horn”, due to the shape of the pods.



In ancient times carob pods were used to feed horses, donkeys and pigs, though they could also be used as a source of food for humans. During the Spanish Civil War and the post-war period, they became a staple, as people had no access to any other source of food. In Catalonia you can still hear the expression: “guanyar-se les garrofes” (to earn your carob-beans), meaning “to make a living”. Nowadays, on account of their high sugar content (up to 50%), carob beans are used in the cake-making and ice-ream industries, though they are also still fed to animals. A large proportion of the carobs produced in Mallorca, for example, are exported to Finland to feed the reindeer in Lapland.



The physicians of ancient Egypt made an adhesive from carobs, now known as “locust bean gum”, which they used to hold together the bandages in which they wrapped the bodies of their mummies. The unique properties of this product have enabled these bandages to remain intact through the centuries.



The Bible also refers to carob beans, or locusts, in the story of the prodigal son in the gospel of Luke (Luke 15:11-32). Those who are familiar with the Bible will, on hearing the term “carob pods” or “locust”, automatically recall this parable, as it is arguably the most glorious of all the stories Jesus told. The carob is inseparably associated with hunger. No one would eat them if any other type of food was available. And the prodigal son, a promiscuous self-centred, spendthrift, who preferred to live among pagans, found himself on the lowest possible rung that is was possible for a Jew to be on. He was reduced to living in squalor, looking after pigs and even eating the food that they ate, those abominable carob pods. He not only looked after pigs, he actually lived like one of them!



Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom in our lives before we see the reality of the plight we are in. This man began to take stock, and realised deep in his inner self that he had sinned against God and against his father. He realised that he was not worthy to be his father’s son, and decided that he would return home and ask to be made just another servant. Repentance and conversion are not just about having airy-fairy good thoughts, but about taking radical, life-changing action. The prodigal son got up and returned to his former home.



We all know how the story ends. The father saw his son from a distance. He had compassion. He ran with all his strength (which was considered ridiculous and undignified in an elderly Jew). He threw his arms around his son’s neck, kissed him, forgave him for his rebellion and restored him to his position as son. This is exactly what Jesus Christ still does today when someone repents and returns to Him, leaving behind his life of consuming carob pods.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - The carob tree
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Trailer: “The Peace Between” Trailer: “The Peace Between”

A film about the experience of refugees in Europe. Churches, small groups and individuals are encouraged to use it during Refugee Week: 17-24 June.

 
How can churches better support singles? How can churches better support singles?

Tina Tschage, on some areas in which other Christians can encourage singles.

 
The Church of Scotland debates historic doctrines The Church of Scotland debates historic doctrines

The Kirk has begun official procedures to investigate the status and the role of the Westminster Confession of Faith within its denomination.

 
Be safe on social media Be safe on social media

A video about the way traffickers target teenage girls online, produced by anti-slavery gorup Abolishion.

 
In Mission In Mission

A 360º lyric video about how all followers of Jesus Christ are called to serve God. Duo in Spanish (Alex Sampedro) and Portuguese (Marcos Martins).

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.